S.H.A.R.E. Organization & History

Our Team

  • Board of Directors: Paul McLellan (President), Stephen Hood (Vice-President), Caitlin Armstrong, Lynn Moore, Tiegan Armstrong, Sarah Sawatsky, Steve Craig, Carmen Clubine, Thom Grace
  • Secretary to the Board: Jean Howden
  • Treasurer: Gord Armstrong
  • Chief Financial Officer: Ben Tasson
  • Executive Director: Gary Shaw
  • Donor Relations Officer: Joe Gray
  • Communication and Grants Officer: Marg Frayne
  • Committees: Communications, Fundraising, Finance, Human Resources, Policy 
  • Project Management Team: John Moore, Carl Fletcher, Casey Willemse
  • Administrative Support: Marg Frayne, Judy Dunstan

Volunteer With Us!

SHARE benefits from the talents and expertise of many other volunteers. If you would like to arrange a presentation by a SHARE volunteer, be a SHARE volunteer, help on a committee or fund raise for SHARE please contact us at info@shareagfoundation.org.

Financial Information

SHARE’s work in Canada is primarily done by dedicated volunteers who put in many hours of time working out of home offices and fundraising. This means that administration costs can be kept low and donations are used for our project work. Costs such as our newsletter expenses are covered by an annuity and investments designated by generous donors.
Through the years SHARE has applied for and received funding from the Canadian government (GAC, DFATD, and CIDA), private foundations, service clubs, organizations and churches expanding our results.

Registered charity: BN: 13150 7428 RR0001

History

SHARE was founded in 1976 by a small group of farmers in the Region of Peel, Ontario, Canada. 

Many of the founding group stayed involved in SHARE their whole lives and were the inspiration for many other people to the work of SHARE.

SHARE’S first project was started with establishing a dairy herd at the University of Mossoro, in northeast Brazil. A Milton farming couple Hugh and Melba Beaty sold their dairy herd to be able to move to Brazil and supervise the project for 2 years. Ontario cattle were donated and sent to Mossoro. In the 1970’s this was the norm for charities, but now we recognize that some native breeds are better adapted to the local climatic conditions purchasing in the developing country helps the local economy.

The Mossoro dairy project was a clear success in its ability to help the poor community of Mossoro. For 30 years, some of the milk from the project has been directed to Sister Ellen, a Franciscan nun to assist her in feeding the hundreds of street children in her care.  (Read The S.H.A.R.E. Legacy letter.) As the cattle herd grew, cattle were sold, and the proceeds were given to the community to build schools, health posts and community centers. The bulls were sold first. Canadian Holstein’s would fetch an excellent price from very rich farmers. A micro credit fund was established from the sales and successfully loaned to poor farmers and managed by them.

Other early projects focused on cattle, a successful water buffalo project in the Amazon, sheep, chicks, bees, irrigation, wells, tools, rabbits, crop inputs, goats, pigs, agriculture training, youth skills training and education projects.

SHARE has also been able to help in times of natural disasters sending funds to Jamaica, El Salvador, Haiti and Honduras for immediate emergency relief supplies, for homes and to reestablish agriculture projects.

Hundreds of small projects have been completed in the early years in the Caribbean and Africa, and more recently in Honduras, El Salvador, Brazil, Belize, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Haiti, Bolivia and even across the world in Cambodia. Some larger projects have received funding from the Canadian International Development Agency, CIDA (now called Global Affairs Canada) – Canada’s lead agency for international assistance. In each case SHARE has made alliances with trusted local partners who manage our projects and help us to effectively monitor the work.

Early Years

Here are a few of the many interesting early projects –  stories from Hugh Beaty’s monitoring notes. 

  • 1991 – SHARE made arrangements through Semex Canada and their counterpart in Brazil to start the use of artificial breeding.
  • 1991 – Newton and Lorna Little traveled to Belize to find someone to oversee our projects there.
  • 1990 – Belize – San Antonio pig project. A woman’s group raised pigs to increase their income. The manure provided bio gas to operate the cook stove, light and refrigerator.
  • 1990 – Alegra Cabera, Brazil – Working with World Vision, SHARE supplied cattle and goats to three communities.
  • 1987 – Surinam – SHARE supplied dairy cattle to a Dutch organization for small scale farmers. A revolution took place and the farmers fled across the French Guyana River.
  • 1987 – SHARE provided a tractor and implements to farmers in Sierra Leone to be shared by 3 communities. In theory this was the right thing to do but in practice it didn’t work. Through politics, jealousy and other factors the project broke down. SHARE learned the value of having a responsible person and organization on site to monitor in order to be successful.
  • 1986 – Sierra Leone, Africa – The project to increase food production with CUSO failed as did a poultry project in Kenya and corn to Sierra Leone. SHARE is learning lessons through experience.
  • 1983 – Brazil – Santarem Water Buffalo Project – Working with the Franciscans on the Amazon, 75 animals were funded by SHARE at a cost of $350 each. Three communities received the water buffalo and through the “pass on principle”, sometime later, 3 more communities received animals. This was a popular project with our donors.
  • 1981 – Two young bulls were shipped to Mossoro to replace the original breeding stock.

S.H.A.R.E.'s Work Continued - Overview of Past Projects

Thanking Our Two Long-Time Project Managers, Bob and Les

Volunteering reflects our values, what we care about, our notion of justice and our sense of responsibility for the planet and all those with whom we share it. (Unknown)

In Memoriam - Founder and First Project Manager

Hugh Beaty - (1918-2015)

David Armstrong - (1930-2011)

At the SHARE annual dinner dance in the fall of 2010, John Webster, past Chair of SHARE’s Board (on left) honoured Hugh Beaty for his tireless dedication and work with SHARE since 1977. In receiving his award Hugh spoke of his life philosophy. “In my work with SHARE I’ve always found that in giving I have always received back more than I ever gave. I believe that if we can serve others we are not so mindful of ourselves.”

In his short book, More than a Vision, Hugh Beaty recounts the early years of development of the S.H.A.R.E. Agriculture Foundation. The book “recognizes the men and women who generously gave their expertise and dedication. It also recognizes those who contributed financial and moral support. Through good times and bad, they were always there. Like most movements for good, it started with a dream. Those who were involved from the beginning agree “we should never be satisfied with only a vision of what we would like to accomplish.” They believed that when we are aware of poverty and hunger we have an obligation to respond. The only thing necessary for evil to triumph over good is for good people to do nothing. Wonderful things have happened, and always at an appropriate time in the life of the S.H.A.R.E. Agriculture Foundation. “

This giant leap of faith by SHARE’s founding members began 30 years of unwavering commitment of Canadian supporters and volunteers to impoverished families in Latin America.

 

What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.” Albert Pike

SHARE remembers with great gratitude the dedication and work of the late David Armstrong, loyal supporter and valued advisor. David was a founding member of the S.H.A.R.E. Agriculture Foundation; in fact David conceived the idea for the foundation and its work and inspired farm leaders in Peel and later in Halton to organize this charity in 1976. He remained on the Board of Directors of SHARE until 1993, acted as chairman of the Board for 3 years demonstrating his strong leadership qualities and integrity. He continued to attend board and committee meetings regularly, listening intently to all opinions before using his insight, knowledge and solid analysis in decision making.

David was an inspiration to all the volunteers of S.H.A.R.E. He was a great promoter of our largest fund raising event, the annual dinner dance held the first Saturday of November. Ticket sales were his specialty.

David was honoured with the Farmer of the Year Award in 1987 by the Peel Federation of Agriculture, the Outstanding Volunteer Award from the Senate of Canada in 2003 for his service to others and the Caledon Volunteer and Citizen Achievement Award in 2004. He was a lifetime member of Mayfield United Church, a long time respected dairy farmer in Caledon and was involved with many other community and farm organizations. His dedication and passion for helping others will be missed.

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